Coumadin is an anticoagulant prescribed for treating blood clots that may form inside a blood vessel in a condition called thrombosis or a clot in the lungs called embolism.
However, your doctor may also prescribe Coumadin for other conditions if found appropriate.
How to use Coumadin
The ideal way to use Coumadin is to follow the instructions of your doctor. An alternative way is to check the medicine label for dosage instructions.
Please ensure that your condition is constantly monitored by doctors when you are using Coumadin.
It is important that you maintain a strict schedule for taking Coumadin to ensure that you do not miss any doses. But if you do, then you may take it as soon as you remember provided that you space out the next dosage accordingly.
On the other hand, if it is almost time for the next dose, then omit this dose and continue with your normal dosage schedule.
Never consume two doses to compensate for a missed dosage.
Store Coumadin between 59 to 77 degrees F (15 and 25 Degrees), at room temperature. Ensure that you protect it from direct exposure to heat/moisture/light and from the reach of children and pets.
Avoid storing Coumadin in the bathroom.
A Coumadin overdose may have certain adverse symptoms like Abnormal bleeding or bruising and blood in the vomit or stools which may require immediate medical attention. So please contact your doctor immediately if you suspect that the patient has overdosed on Coumadin.
Consult your doctor before using Coumadin if you have conditions like, if you have any kind of allergies to food items, medicines or other substances, if you are using some kind of herbal preparation, dietary supplement, prescription or non prescription drug.
Do not use Coumadin if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in it (read medicine label if unsure), you have bleeding tendencies, bleeding problems (eg, hemophilia), severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, certain blood problems (eg, low white blood cell or platelet levels), or leukemia; you have active serious bleeding, bleeding in the brain, certain blood vessel problems (eg, aneurysm, dissecting aorta), or inflammation or infection of the heart; you have active ulcer or bleeding of the stomach or bowel, urinary tract, genitals, or respiratory tract; you have recently had or will be having eye, brain, or spinal cord surgery; spinal puncture; spinal anesthesia; or any type of major surgery; you are pregnant or may become pregnant; you are unable to have routine blood clotting tests; you are unable to follow your doctor's instructions properly and do not have someone to help you take your medicine; you are taking mifepristone, streptokinase, or urokinase.
You must avoid taking alcoholic beverages while using Coumadin as it can increase the chances of becoming drowsy, faint or dizzy. Potentially hazardous tasks like driving, handling heavy machinery should also be avoided.
Cranberry juice and products must be avoided while taking Coumadin.
Maintain caution and consult your doctor before you suddenly change your activity level or your body weight.
If your body temperature increases suddenly, then it may increase the effects of Coumadin, so you must be careful.
Coumadin is known to decrease the blood clotting ability of the body. So you must avoid any situation which may lead to bruising or injury. You must be cautios even while performing seemingly ordinary tasks like brushing your teeth, flossing, or shaving.
If you notice dark, tarry, or bloody stools, then contact your doctor immediately for it might be the sign of internal bleeding.
If you have already been prescribed an aspirin for a heart ailment, then speak to your doctor whether you should continue to use it while taking Coumadin.
If you are planning to travel for a long time or are going to be bed ridden for a long time, then speak to your doctor about it as it increases your chance of getting a blood clot.
If you are pregnant or have plans for a pregnancy, then stop using Coumadin and consult your doctor before using Coumadin as Coumadin may harm your fetus.
If you are breast feeding then please maintain caution as it is unknown whether Coumadin is passed into the breast milk. So please consult your doctor prior to using it.
Coumadin can interact with certain medicines. So, you must inform your doctor if you are taking
You must inform your doctor or your dentist about Coumadin before you undergo treatment or any emergency surgery.
You may be required to undergo certain lab tests including certain blood clotting tests (eg, PT, INR) while taking Coumadin. These tests are prescribed to monitor the progress as well as the severity of side effects. Please do not miss any lab appointments.
Please maintain caution while using Coumadin in children as the safety as well as effectiveness of Coumadin in these patients are yet to be ascertained.
Coumadin should be used with caution in Asians as they are more prone to its side effects.